Online Yoga has been a lifesaver, without a doubt. It has slotted into our working day with ease, especially since the commute to work may be no more than the distance from our bedroom to our customized home office. And, for those who have accessibility or travel challenges, online Yoga may continue to be a godsend, while for others leaving Zoom world is a welcome relief. This article is more geared to those who are able to get to a physical Yoga studio or center.
As a studio owner, I recently surveyed my clients about returning to the studio post-lockdown and was quite surprised with the results. So many students said they would like to keep or even preferred online life. Some felt unsafe ahead of restrictions lifting and some just felt that online access had revolutionized the way in which they accessed their at-home workday.
On the other hand, I was able to connect with those who had not taken up online and were missing their practice. The virtual world just wasn’t doing it for them and they couldn’t wait for studios to reopen. While online Yoga has been a great resource and something that you may be looking to keep in your daily schedule, here is a little reminder about all the wonderful things you may be missing from a physical space and some reasons why, although you might keep your virtual practice, heading back into a studio should be top of your list post lockdown.
- Nothing beats the atmosphere
Having designed one myself I know how much love and attention goes into creating the welcoming vibes of a Yoga studio. Your body instinctively knows that this is a place to practice and relax. Our homes are still our homes and associated with all our everyday activity; your Yoga studio, however, is dedicated to just that and has its own set of unique sounds, smells and decor that will trigger your brain into a deeper practice.
- You can’t beat in-person guidance
However good your physical practice or your online teacher, nothing will ever replace the caring scrutiny of a great teacher in the room with you. They identify your challenges and temper their cues to navigate your success.
- Reconnecting with your Yoga community
A Yoga center is more than a space. It’s a whole community; the people you see week-on-week that provide that connection to a world bigger than yourself. One thing lockdown has taught me is not to take the people I see daily for granted; when I don’t see them the world feels a lot more insular and harder to connect to.
- Avoid your daily distractions
One of the pitfalls of an at-home, virtual practice is the ease at which you can be distracted. There is no whole class or social accountability, so checking your phone, going to the bathroom, dealing with the kids, the dog, the spouse or even just wandering off your mat for no reason are all far too easy. Being in one space forces you to move away from those distractions and focus on you and your practice. Powerful stuff.
- Take yourself away from technology
Even the most avid Zoom user will hopefully not spending all your life on this technology will be a welcome thing. A meeting or class is a great addition but when your work and your passions are all in one virtual place life does become a bit repetitive.
- Be held accountable
How many times have you not shown up to your Zoom class? It’s so much easier to brush off a virtual class than a physical one. We know our tangible presence will be missed in class by those around us and the teacher.
- Show your support
This is a biggie. Your Yoga centers and studios need you to help them get back on their feet. They have suffered this past year and adapted amazingly well to try and stay afloat so you have a space to return to. Show them some love when you return.
- Come back from Covid
My final point is one of reassurance. Covid has done its best to distance us from each other. We’ve fought hard to keep our contact and humanity alive and well with the constant lockdown measures. Whether it’s a Yoga space, a cafe, a theatre or gym, getting back to a more varied and connected life is both needed but terrifying. Be kind to each other as we transition through the next phase of this pandemic. Help each other come back from Covid.
About the Author:
Hannah Glancy is the founder and owner of Proper Northern Yoga (propernorthernYoga.com). She also enjoys running mountains and running her unruly English classrooms in special education! Find her on Instagram @propernorthernYoga. (This article originally appeared in Om Yoga & Lifestyle magazine.)